Psychosis & Schizophrenia & Medical Marijuana

Psychosis is a mental condition that features a fictionalized and aberrant perception of reality, which results in bizarre behavior and dysfunctional social interaction.  Psychosis origins are many, including, genetic, biochemical, and environmental factors that disturb brain chemistry and activity.

Schizophrenia is a similar mental disorder characterized false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hallucinations, anti-social engagement and diminished emotional expression.  Diagnosis is based on observation, interview and testimony about the individual's behavioral history.


"The Schizophrenic mind is not so much split as shattered. I like to say schizophrenia is like a waking nightmare."

--Elyn Saks  - Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, USC

Medical Marijuana and Psychosis - The Science

Recently, psychiatric researchers have turned their attention to developing Cannabis-based treatments for psychosis and related illnesses such as Schizophrenia. Ironically, Marijuana use is known to cause temporary psychotic effects in some individuals.  However, lower doses and different strains of Marijuana appear to have the opposite effect.  An analogy; one cup of coffee is lovely and improves concentration, while five strong cups can completely shatter mental focus.


"Schizoaffective disorder is a big mental mash-up of a disease. It combines just about every disorder, from depression, delusions, and paranoia to mania, Schizophrenia and hallucinations. My mother bounced between all of these regularly while raising me alone in our Hollywood home."

--  Shawn Amos, TED TALKS


Cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, are the bio-active molecules of Medical Marijuana that are indicated for mental disorders.  These Cannabinoids interact with brain receptors that modulate physiological processes including pain sensation, mood, memory and appetite.

Researcher's Testimonials - CBD's Incredible Promise to Treat Psychosis


"MRI results strongly suggest that the antipsychotic effects of CBD in relation to the psychotomimetic effects of Δ(9)-THC involve the striatum and temporal cortex that have been traditionally associated with psychosis. These results support the idea that CBD may be a future therapeutic option in psychosis, in general and in schizophrenia, in particular."

--  Current Pharmaceutical Design: 2012;18(32):5131-40


THC is responsible for Marijuana's euphoric and psychoactive effects, but it is just one of dozens of potentially useful Cannabinoids found in the plant. Recently, a Cannabinoid, CBD (Cannabidiol), has been shown to have antipsychotic and antianxiety effects, without the psychotic symptoms that some people experience when given high doses of THC. 


"People who smoke cannabis rich in CBD are less likely to experience schizophrenia-like symptoms.”

--  Researchers,  University College London

Study: The Impact of Cannabis Use on Cognitive Functioning in Patients With Schizophrenia

"Cannabis users had better cognitive functioning than patients without Cannabis use in several domains including design memory, verbal fluency, object assembly, block design, picture completion, picture arrangement, and face recognition memory."

--  Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Department of Psychiatry

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes:  Your advising Medical Marijuana Doctor should definitely know the difference between the therapeutic and side effects of CBD and THC.  In some cases, THC alone temporarily causes or exacerbates existing psychosis.  Non-psychoactive Cannabis formulations and high-CBD strains may be very effective in those that cannot tolerate mono-THC strains or synthetic preparations. 

A Cannabis Doctor will be glad to answer any questions you have and provide a 420 Evaluation and Cannabis Consultation, here online.  We also provide Medical Marijuana cards that allow patients access MMJ at any Medical Marijuana Dispensary in the State of California.

Further Reading 


Ted Talks - Schizophrenia

!!!  A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation

The Impact of Cannabis Use on Cognitive Functioning in Patients With Schizophrenia

Cannabidiol as an antipsychotic

Cannabis does not induce schizophrenia

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